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The Hirshon Dongpo Pork - 东坡肉

The Hirshon Hangzhou Dongpo Pork – 东坡肉

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  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 2 lb. top-quality pork belly, skin on
  • 2 T Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chinese yellow rock sugar, smashed into bits (strongly preferred) or brown sugar
  • Kitchen or butchers twine
  • 3 bunches scallions, washed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 8 slices ginger
  • ***
  • Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups Shaoxing wine
  • 2 whole star anise + 4 extra points (1/2 a star)
  • 1 piece cinnamon, about 2 inches long
  • 1 1/2 T black peppercorns
  • 3 T dark soy sauce
  • 4 T light soy sauce
  • 1/2 t Sesame oil
  • ***
  • Shredded scallion for garnish


  1. Wash the pork belly as a whole piece. Blanch it whole in boiling water for one minute and drain. This process gets rid of any impurities and also allows you to more easily cut the pork belly into same-sized pieces.
  2. Cut the pork into 3 x 3 inch exactly square pieces. Tightly tie up each piece of belly with twine (as if you were tieing up a gift box) so that the meat keeps its shape during the cooking process and stays intact. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized heavy pot, put all the sauce ingredients together and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Put the oil into an unheated wok and add the smashed sugar, cooking over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  5. In a new pot (preferably a Chinese clay pot), like the bottom with scallions and then ginger. Add the pork skin side DOWN on top of these.
  6. Add the sugar syrup into the hot sauce, stir and pour over the pork. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 ½ hours. You can adjust the seasoning of the sauce at this point but remember that the sauce will thicken and become saltier.
  7. After simmering, put the pork (this time skin side UP) and sauce into a big heat-proof bowl or dish and steam for at least 3 hours. If kept overnight at this point and re-steamed for another hour or more the next day, it’s even better, but not necessary.
  8. Strain out the sauce spices and heat the sauce over medium-low heat, adding salt if you find it too sweet. Then combine some cornstarch and some of the sauce in a bowl (mixed thoroughly) and add a teaspoon at a time back into the heated sauce to thicken the sauce to taste.
  9. After steaming (or re-steaming) the pork belly, let it cool down, then pour hot sauce over pork and serve with white rice or mantou buns with shredded scallion as garnish.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 1465.99 kcal
  • Sugar: 22.24 g
  • Sodium: 491.2 mg
  • Fat: 124.42 g
  • Saturated Fat: 44.37 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.5 g
  • Fiber: 5.43 g
  • Protein: 26.04 g
  • Cholesterol: 163.29 mg